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25th November 2013

The National Lottery hosted a Winter Wonderland themed event at the National Ice Centre today to celebrate its investment in top athletes and community groups in Nottingham.

Young people involved in Lottery-funded groups enjoyed spending time in a giant snow globe and took part in an ice skating masterclass with two times British Ice Dancing Champions Nick Buckland and Penny Coomes.

Nick and Penny, who are among 1,300 elite athletes supported by National Lottery funding, took time out of training in the run up to the Sochi Winter Olympics to perform one of their world class routines to the group before taking them through some steps on the ice.

Nick, who grew up in Nottingham and now trains at the National Ice Centre with Penny, said: “National Lottery funding means Penny and I can train full time and benefit from the best possible coaching – it means we can fulfil our potential and hopefully do Britain proud in Sochi. National Lottery funding has made a real difference to my career and it’s great to meet other people in my home city who are also benefiting in completely different ways. Leading the masterclass today has been great fun and I hope we have inspired some young people who took part to get involved in skating.”

As well as supporting top athletes, the £33 million National Lottery players raise every week for sports, arts, heritage and charities is changing lives across the UK.

The National Ice Centre was built with the help of a £25.5 million National Lottery grant, creating the UK’s Centre of Excellence for ice sports and a superb facility for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy. The centre has also received £56,000 of funding to create opportunities for young people who might not otherwise have access to take part in skating.

The young people who took part in the masterclass were all invited from community groups which have recently been given a boost thanks to National Lottery funding. These include Nottinghamshire Clubs for Young People, which received £7,800 in July to provide training opportunities in sign language, first aid, food safety and community sports volunteering to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and young people with learning disabilities’

The charity’s Training and Volunteer Development Officer, Rebekah Whiting, said: “It has been an amazing opportunity for the young people today – our organisation is all about opening up young people to new experiences and it’s not every day you meet an Olympic athlete! Penny and Nick were fantastic on the ice, I really hope they go to Sochi and do well.

“I have seen the difference that National Lottery funding makes to such a wide range of people today – from the young people I work with, to Olympic athletes. Everyone who plays The National Lottery should be really proud.”

Notes to editors

For further information please contact: or 0207 211 39 27/07827 281116

Notes to Editor
• The National Lottery raises £33 million every week for a wide range of sports, arts, heritage, charity and community projects across the UK
• The funding is awarded through 12 distributing bodies: Big Lottery Fund, UK Sport, Sport England, Sport Wales, Sport NI, Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England, Arts Council Wales, Arts Council NI, Creative Scotland and the British Film Institute
• Nick Buckland and Penny Coomes are members of UK Sport’s National Lottery funded World Class Performance Programme, which enables elite athletes to train full time and have access to some of the best coaching, facilities and support staff in the world